Node JS Use Cases: When, Why & How to Use Node.js? (Comprehensive Guide)
If you have settled down on using Node.js for web app projects, then you must ask around the community. It is of utmost importance to be aware regarding it and reading up all documentations as well.
However, it also comes with a set of drawbacks such as it being time consuming and somewhat tedious because of its numerous use cases, leading to a series of endless loops.
Key Aspects Of Node.js Use Cases
1. What Is Node.js Used For?
It also allows the creation of scalable servers through its event-driven program model. This model uses call-backs to signal the completion of the task.
The NodeJS Use Cases is not limited to web applications. There are many other areas where you can use Node.js.
Some of the popular ones are as below:
- Backend and Servers
- Development of API
- Front end
- Script and automation
Node.js builds several smaller applications instead of larger ones. It helps in building applications that will enable change and addition of newer functions!
2. Advantage Of Node.js
People always think that, Why Use Node.js?
There are many advantages or benefits of using Node.js frameworks for web applications.
Some of the advantages are as listed below:
- Speed & Performance
- Non-Blocking I/O
- Support For Real-Time Applications
- Unified Database Queries
- Easy & Fast Coding
- Open-Source NPM Repository
- Proxy Server Ability
- Fast Development Cycle
3. Exploring The Use Cases Of Node.js
The pointers indicate that the Node. js is suited best for applications where a continuous connection can be maintained between the browser and the server.
Let’s discuss some NodeJS Use Cases. These apps mentioned are some of the prime examples of Node JS Use Cases.
I. Data Streaming Apps
The Problem: it requires heavy processing.
Data streaming on apps is complex and usually requires uninterrupted streaming of data by different devices and sources.
Solution: Node.js will help make data streaming easier
Knowing When to Use Node.js is crucial. It is perfect to use NodeJS for online streaming platforms, as it does not store temporary data or caching, since its connection remains open.
It also has an interface that allows streams that are readable and writable. For example- Netflix, the infamous movie/tv show streaming platform, uses Node.js.
II. Server-Side Proxy
The Problem: A third party proxy can cause chaos in web apps.
Nginx and HAProxy are some standard third-party servers that are not scalable or feasible to handle multiple requests sometimes.
Solution: Node.js will help build a more relaxed and better server proxy.
Developers complain of most proxy servers not being able to handle the multiple demands associated with server-side proxies.
NodeJS comes in handy in such cases by employing a collection of data from third-party servers.
A company that uses NodeJS is BBC news. It handles its numerous connections by using its non-blocking nature.
For example, the BBC news website that communicates with a variety of third-party servers gathers data from different sources. Here Node.js will help in proxying various services with varying timings of response.
III. Big Data Analytics
The Problem: It can be troublesome to deal with extensive data in one browser.
When dealing with more significant data, you make users wait for longer, which is not acceptable.
More than 5 minutes with a frozen browser is annoying no matter how good the analysis.
Solution: Node.js will help to make the processing of data more accessible.
We know that Node.js ensures a flow of data between the browser and the server.
Here, it will allow the data flow without any interruption by breaking up the data in smaller portions, unlike the others.
A fitting example of When to Use Node.js would be online shopping/retail sites such as Amazon and Netflix.
IV. Wireless Connectivity
The Problem: Bi-directional signals and the bandwidth consumption
Bandwidth consumption is the major challenge for connectivity! A reliable source that collects data and sends it to the rightful destination can be a challenge.
Here, collection and routing of data between devices and then a reliable Bi-directional signal is of priority.
Solution: Node.js will help ensure blockage free data connectivity.
We have come to depend on the internet too much. An interruption in it can ruin the perfect day at work.
Here, Node.js helps create a proxy server for connectivity and routing, as it provides non-blocking services.
V. System Monitoring Dashboard
The Problem: real-time data pushing at scale can be difficult.
Dashboards are used to display and convey a large amount of information swiftly. However, it is difficult to find the most applicable information and then to present it in real-time.
When using the dashboard, sometimes you may not be notified of the strange behaviour and then manually monitor it to detect the problem.
Solution: Node.js will help push real-time data.
These are usually used to deliver substantial information quickly. Its amalgamation with the
Node.js event loop capability will help make a more robust system monitoring dashboard.
It can also be used to collect real-time data by using WebSockets.
VI. Real-Time Data Apps
The Problem: It holds up in the scalability of real-time data.
Here, the main problem lies in scaling and sizing of the data streaming in real-time, especially if the application runs 24X7.
Extra resources may be required to execute the operations to meet serviceable arrangements.
Solution: Node.js will help real-time data advantage for apps.
An example of real-time data apps where Node.js Usage is involved would be google doc. Here, its event-driven and non-blocking nature comes into use.
It will allow for a no hang-up operation and instant update of the work.
Node.js is vital in such a case because it:
- let’s developers share library codes
- will handle I/O tasks effectively
- it is fast and scalable
VII. Queued I/O Output
The Problem: the app can crash if the data load is huge.
Collecting vast amounts of data can lead to a rather congested database and hence result in the application crashing.
Fixing this damage is also expensive, and so is the queuing of data in order to maintain concurrency.
Solution: Node.js will help handle the enormous data load with the help of its asynchronous nature.
Node.js is asynchronous and hence handles heavy data flow with ease.
Thus, unloading and making the process smooth by queuing infrastructure or caching.
It thereby helps in un-congesting the database and applications that will not crash.
The Problem: Investing in customer service calls is expensive for businesses.
An average of 265 billion customer support calls are made. This makes a business spend roughly $1.3 trillion each year.
Solution: Node.js will help by offering chatbots that are cheaper and fit in the budget.
Interfaces that require quick exchanges of messages must use Node.js, especially chat rooms on Browser games.
The API is more straightforward and allows real-time data/message exchange by using Express.js. Numerous apps and websites use chatbots to help customers daily.
IX. Web Scraping
The Problem: Manually extracting data is tiresome.
Data extraction from different sources cannot be done manually as it usually ranges in millions.
Moreover, the analysing of data can be challenging, and even the amount that needs to be pushed.
Solution: Node.js will help by making it quicker and cheaper.
A manual web scraping is a tedious job and will take hours, making it somewhat challenging.
Node.js can automate this job by using 2 packages- cheerio and request.
Here, request will download the page while cheerio will generate a document object model.
X. REST API
The Problem: SOAP makes API complex.
Even though SOAP has a higher capacity in terms of data transferring, the API integration remains complex.
Solution: Node.js will help build a REST API that hastens the integration process of API.
REST or representational state transfer is essential to build software architectures and shows a heavy usage of the HTTP protocol.
This NodeJS Use Case involves it offering a framework to Express.js and hence creating a lighter and faster REST API.
While usually, the SOAP makes the API rather complicated, which is what NodeJS solves.
The Problem: Security of Command-Line Apps.
Security of command-line applications have been a massive challenge over the years. Developers have tried many solutions, but haven’t found 100% success with it.
Solution: Utilizing a scalable, reliable & secure platform like Node.js.
Node.js can help in building useful command-line apps. Such a platform will ensure the command-line app is reliable and has access to thousands of packages. They are explicitly designed to make powerful command-line tools.
The hence produced command-line app will be faster, cost-effective because of libraries like yargs, commander and oclif. Node.js is perfect for developers who are not friendly with backend languages.
XII. Single Page Application
The Problem: Developing single page applications that can handle multiple requests with ease.
Single Page applications are a common technique being used these days. It allows the whole application to fit on 1 page to deliver a desktop-like experience efficiently.
Solution: Making use of Node.js and its asynchronous nature.
NodeJS helps build SPAs that will handle asynchronous calls in a well-organised manner and even the heavy I/O operations.
SPAs are usually used in social networking sites, text or drawing tools, and mail solutions. Here, the use of NodeJS will help catch the multiple client requests that pop up.
It simplifies the process and makes the site reusable by approaching both front and back end.
XIII. Microservice Architecture
The Problem: Using microservice architecture for business logic.
Microservice Architecture is an approach that helps develop an application as smaller groups of independent services. These will play unique roles in business logic.
It became trendy and was commonly used on Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix websites. The web app will communicate using REST/HTTP protocols and the JSON structure of data.
Solution: Making use of the Node.js framework that is fast & efficient.
Node.js helps build microservers that are stable, lightweight, efficient, and easy to maintain.
Thus, helping a company enhance its performance and even reduce the codebase by a significant amount.
XIV. Browser Games
The Problem: Creating games for browsers with seamless user experience.
Developing a game specific to browsers is a challenge. Now, add user-experience to it and it becomes a complicated case to solve for any developer.
Solution: Making use of a platform like Node.js that is supported by browsers.
NodeJS can be used in-game development along with HTML5 and Socket.IO to create multiplayer or single-player games that will work directly on the browser.
They will not require third party plugins and provide a game developer with tools to make the management of the multiplayer games easier.
Games such as Ancient beast, Anagrammatix and Paint war, etc. that usually have inbuilt chat rooms use Node.js. It will also help developers share code between the server and even the client.
4. Industries That Can Take Advantage of Node.js Use Cases
I. Media and Entertainment
These industries require their content to reach a broad audience. In such cases, a free and open network is of top priority as they may be entering and handling up to 500k requests in a day.
They require a more scalable application that can also store massive data almost daily. Moreover, Node.js will ensure the data is cut into chunks instead of massive files. It can bring about a significant change in the industry.
Instead of sending all the data in one single packet, it can send the data in smaller chunks instead. This will ensure that initial requests are executing within the first seconds of the video while the rest gets downloaded as the video progresses.
NodeJS can help by queueing up the data or simply sharing it in an asynchronous manner, so the request is not blocked. This will help the viewer see the video without any blockage/interruption.
II. Social Networking
Social media is everybody’s obsession, with a person spending 4 hours a day surfing on it. These apps with the help of Node.js could build, personalise or scale the activity of the streams on various social media apps.
It can also easily stay updated and maintain the large community that a social networking site usually harbours. The app will also be faster, since it is extensible. The faster the app, the more people will prefer its usage.
In this sector, Node JS Use Cases could provide quicker results in real-time and lead to a faster diagnosis.
There are already existing apps that help doctors attain such information regarding their patients.
They offer consultations online! Node.js will tackle the overflow of data with ease on the app, also offloading it at the same time.
Some top features that are present on the “on-demand doctor” app that has made the app number one and can be kept in mind while working on a telemedicine app are:
- Real-time video consulting–this allows users from remote areas to consult doctors in real-time via video. Providing consultations in real-time!
- Online scheduling–this will help consumers make appointments online at a time convenient for them.
- Payment gateway integration–this allows online payments to ensure the user’s convenience.
On an average, banks are responsible for processing numerous transactions and, at the same time, manage the details of these transactions.
Here Node JS Use Cases took advantage of its asynchronous nature—thus helping banks handle multiple requests as well as reducing the server load.
Ever since its introduction, numerous websites migrated from the previously ROR stack to the Node.js stack.
Most of the ecommerce sites handle multiple countries, and the data can be processed from wherever you are with the help of Node.js. It will also ensure the job of the developer is more comfortable, and the site is faster.
Groupon shifted from the initial ROR app to Node.js stack; this gave the company amazing results that helped it grow.
VI. Transportation & Logistics
Since Node.js is a versatile platform that will help in building apps that require real-time data, in transport and logistics, Node.js could help implement the search engine that has APIs that are highly responsive.
The app thus could have a frontend library as well as a custom backend. Frameworks such as Koa or Express will help create an API that handles requests from the app, perform business logic and even store data.
The best example here would be Uber that uses Node.js for quick responses to all the requests made by users.
VII. Education & eLearning
This industry has seen a boom as the internet reached the hard to reach places. Node.js in this field can produce low cost and feature-rich education apps that provide you with online lectures of courses. These will be speedy and scalable.
VIII. Project Management
Node.js can help build project management apps that can be updated in real-time, such as the google doc sheets.
It will help a user create documents that can be easily shared with companies or the team. These companies and team members can make edits and additions to the files. The update will be immediate!
Trello is an excellent example of a project management app that uses Node.js on its server-side. It allows the creation of boards to help organise projects or anything else on groups and individually.
This app requires instant updates and open connections. Node.js being event-driven became a solid choice for this app.
5. When Not to Use Node.js?
Heavy Server-side Computation
While it may be a good idea to use it to build complex web programs. Node.js usage may create difficulty when dealing with CPU concentrated tasks, as this may lead to massive blockage and significant data loss.
How to make it work in such a case?
- Offloading to background process: since Node.js uses a single CPU core. Here developers should take precautions while adding concurrency on servers.
- Make a cluster module: This will help to offload the heavy computation to background processes and communicate that via message like in RabbitMQ.
Server-side App With Relational Database
Since there is a wide variety of options available on Node.js, it makes it rather challenging to keep track of the diversified implementations.
A commenter on Stakoverflow.com calls the node projects to often appear ‘radically different from the next’ because of the growing pool packages.
You can instead use Ruby on Rails which are best used in case of relational data access. They provide automatic data access setup!
To conclude, it is a nest used for real-time applications such as games, chat rooms, etc.
6. Node.js Performance Metrics
The Node.js application is evaluated on the following metrics:
This allows the smooth execution of code in a queue.
It is essential to notice that due to its asynchronous nature, every change is not per request in the execution stream, and the language may vary.
To conclude, the Node.js application must monitor its event loop to collect the vital metrics surrounding its behaviour for the excellent performance of the event loop.
Real-Time User Behaviour
The Node.js platform is such that it allows real-time measurement of responses.
It gives the users performance of the application in real-time, sharing data as well as the performance.
Thus, capturing response time while also calculating its constituent tiers.
The platform is versatile and is aptly said so as it collects all the data on the application and puts it in its Garbage collector.
A tool that was for managing the app’s memory and thereby to prevent a memory leak. It cuts out the need for a developer to manually control it.
A memory leak will happen if the application code keeps piling up the memory and forgets to free it up when not in need. Hence, it is essential to diagnose it at the right time.
Node.js is dependent on web services, databases, and legacy systems.
Even though there is no need to control the code within the external dependencies, it remains essential to know if they are functioning well or not.
How to check these? By keeping track of the request rates, response time, error rate, API, and content sizes!
7. Some Real-Time Examples Of Node.js
Yes, this United States ride-sharing provider uses node.js. It became scalable using Node.js and saw a drastic improvement in its performance.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Quick Iterations were possible
- Asynchronous I/O
- Active open-sourced community
It is the most popular movie/tv show viewing platform across the globe today. However, it previously lacked performance.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Application Scalability
- Data-intensive applications
Therefore, improving the performance by the non-blocking nature of it.
PayPal is a company based out of the US and functions as an online payment system. It is built on Node.js and copes with the many active uses seamlessly.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Faster building times
- Reduced line of codes
- Handles a large amount of data seamlessly
This application had previously been using ROR, which was synchronous and made the system more cumbersome.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Made app faster than before
- Doubled traffic capacity
- Server cut down from 15 to 4
Wallmart is one of the pioneers in the e-commerce business. Earlier on, its developers faced issues with making multiple updates in one go and showed a lower than average performance.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Efficiently handling concurrent requests
- Asynchronous I/O
Node.js has helped NASA in keeping their asutarnuts safe and sound. In recent years, Node.js has made its name in the space industry as well. It shows the power of Node.js.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Single database for everything
- Reduction of access time
Medium is one of the most popular publishing platforms around the globe. With over 25 million monthly readers, the seamless management of data was a real challenge.
Why did the company choose Node.js?
- Easy sharing of code between client & server
- Speed up in deployment time
The variety of NodeJS Use Cases ensure that developers do not suffer a hard time, especially when dealing with real-time applications.
It is easily the best choice when making a single page web application as it uses the same language for the server and the browser.
Hence, easing the shuffling of data and tackling the numerous requests like a champ.
It will create difficulty if you wish to develop CPU concentrated tasks. Sophisticated programming is not in its forte and may render the program unresponsive.
Node.js is a run-time environment that allows you to develop standardized web applications. The USP of Node.js is that it is asynchronous and that’s why you can handle multiple requests simultaneously.
There are some scenarios for which Node.js can be a really handy option. Some of the most popular ones are as listed below:
When server-side requires few CPU Cycles
When you’re working with real-time applications
When you’re working with scalable applications
There are some scenarios where you should definitely avoid using Node.js. Some of them are as listed below:
When you’re working with CPU-heavy applications
When you’re dealing with heavy service-side computations
When you’re working with a server-side app with relational database
Node.js is mostly utilized for these purposes:
Backends and servers
Scripting and automation
Actually Node.js is not a framework that is specific for building front-end or back-end of an application. It is a run-time environment that can be utilized for both front-end as well as the back-end.
In today’s day and age, you need to work rapidly and at the time deal with complex applications. For that purpose, you need an infrastructure that is lightweight and scalable. Node.js perfectly fits those requirements.
NPM is an acronym for Node Package Manager. The main purpose of NPM is to put the modules at the right place so that Node can find it easily. Mostly NPM is used to publish, discover, install, and develop node programs.
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